Chiastic Structure of the Novels?

Two very thoughtful men have weighed in on the chiastic structure of the Harry Potter books, a theory I think I first heard at Nimbus 2003. In brief, it is the idea that the novels are something of a circle or loop in which books 1 and 7, 2 and 6, and 3 and 5 are each a paired set and book 4 the “turning point” with elements of the three sets. The Red Hen has been discussing this sort of thing for some time with the rest of Fandom.

Pastor Joe Thacker has given his version a decidedly alchemical look and HogPro All Pro “Merlin” the Seminarian has pulled out all the stops in his exegesis over at Muggle Matters, which began here in 2006 and continues here this summer (scroll down to Thursday, June 14th: “The 3-4-5 Insanity Chiasm in the Harry Potter Series”). Both versions are worth your time, if only to begin (or review?) your thinking about how the books work as a series or one unit.

Contrary theories are welcome and will be posted, time allowing!


  1. Gladius Terrae Novae says

    Just found this post!b I’ve been listening to DH again, and I noticed something about the early chapters. It’s seems to be a repeat of Harry’s first time at the dursleys. Harry is initially carried to the dursleys on the flying motorcycle by hagrid, and there’s even a reference to that flight. In 7 he’s carried away. He arrives and departs from the dursley’s doorstep when they are gone. His parents were killed before he came, hedwig, his reminder of home and the magical world, was killed. Actually, I’m beginning to think the whole book is kind of a reversal of the past six, or at least seems to be in several parts.

  2. Gladius Terrae Novae says

    Or paerhaps it’s more of a symbol of Harry’s re-entrance into the world.

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